Read the other day that the big business of being green in now in the trillions. The snake oil of climate change has been bought by many and they have been good capitalists and turned their fear mongering into trillions of dollars. Like rats, the followers of the greenies will follow them over the cliff, even to self destruction. People can point this out and they look them in the eye and call them liars. Even when the facts are contrary to what the climate change advocates are advocating. If a person watches them closely they have a tendency of self destruction.
I get close and personal with the green energy stuff because of all the wind turbines that were built in the area and near by. Now approaching over 5000 within a couple hours drive. There are some large solar panel arrays nearby also and the oil patch in around. In Denver is the National Lab for renewable energies, somewhat of an oxymoron.
These giant things are termed as being green, but are they really.
Look at the size of one these things, rated at 1.5 KW. Then look at how much space they use compared to a 500 KW fired generation station. Their foot print is incredible. There is the station base, where it is mounted, then the access road for repairs and servicing. Then the cabling to get the power to a transmission line. Throw in a sub station and all of a sudden, one big footprint. How much land is lost compared to a power plant and much wildlife is affected plus your food basket.
Next thing, look at what it takes to build one of these wind turbines.
The tower is four sections of steel, each 50 feet long weighing about 100,000 lbs. each. Question, how much iron ore is need to build one of these of steel? How much energy has to be expended to process the ore, then process the steel then form the tower sections? All of a sudden we are looking at lots of energy being expended just to begin building one.
Then on top is the narcel. the turbine generator. Again well over 100,000 lbs. The housing is steel but the working parts are copper and rare earth metals. So how much energy has to be spent to mine the ore, then process the ore and then mill it to a useable material. It is not a simple one or two step process.
Then there is the hub, blades and nose cap. A mixture of steel, carbon fibers and other materials. Carbon fibers are petroleum based product. They are also very easily damaged by lightening and high winds. Again, what kind of energy has to be spent to get these materials out of the ground and into some kind of useable form?
How much energy has been consumed just to manufacture the components? They only generate 1.5 KW and on average a useable life of less then 15 years and many sustain lots of damage and or malfunctions. Now that the bits and pieces are built, they have to be shipped to the installation site.
Each blade takes and over size truck, 3 blades. Each tower section takes an overweight truck, 4 sections. The narcel takes a special oversize truck, 1 piece. The hub and cone on one trailer. Now that all of this is being shipped there are the guts that go in the tower from the narcel. The cables, the elevator and the instruments. Then the cable to connect into the grid.
Whoa there is a whole bunch more of energy being spent on manufacture, mining, milling, processing and production.
With all the parts, there is lots of energy used up in transportation. Particularly for the components that get shipped in from overseas.
The next energy expense is site preparation. A 10 story hole is dug then filled with concrete as a mounting pad for the windmill. The manufacture of cement is one of the most energy intense process there is. Then the cement is shipped to the batch plant where it is mixed with an aggregate to make concrete. Both components are intense energy mining endeavor. Tons of earth have to be moved just get the site ready. Along with the mining for the other materials, some seriously big holes had to be dug in the ground. Now all this concrete has to hauled out to the job site and dumped in the ground.
Next, equipment has to be brought to the job site for assembly. There are cranes for unloading, other equipment for moving machines around, then a huge crane to set things in place. Again a very intense energy operation. There had to be roads graded for access streets and buried cables.
Now repeat this operation a hundred times and let me know how long these turbines have to last before they have a return on investment. Now you can see why there has to be a government subsidy. A wind turbine is a negative cash flow machine.
One thing that seldom shows up in the news, are the farms that have been shut down. The other is how many failures they have with them. During high wind storms they are shut down and after severe lightening storms there is lots of repair work waiting. There comes a time when repairs is no longer feasible. So the windmill become a static display to …………….?
Now if some one calls them green energy, I look at them and ask what other jokes do you have.